Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: January 17, 2020
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Supreme Court of Virginia Denies Challenge to Executive Order Forty-Nine

RICHMOND—The Supreme Court of Virginia today denied a court challenge to Governor Ralph Northam’s decision to temporarily ban firearms on Capitol grounds from 5:00 PM on Friday, January 17, 2020 until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. The Supreme Court ruling keeps this policy in place and comes one day after the Richmond Circuit Court ruled to affirm the order.

Governor Northam issued the following statement: 

I am grateful that this executive order stands, and that it will help to ensure the safety of all Virginians on Monday.  

I am confident that the majority of those attending Monday’s rally will be peaceful. I have full respect for their fundamental American right to voice their opinions. But over the past few days, the news has confirmed that that this rally is attracting extreme individuals and groups—including national hate, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist groups—who are threatening violence and looking to advance a violent agenda. 

As your Governor, I will do everything in my power to keep Virginians safe. I thank Attorney General Mark Herring and our legal teams for their tireless efforts.

The Governor’s decision is outlined in Executive Order Forty-Nine, which has been amended to clarify that any violation is punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, as stated in Virginia Code § 44-146.17.

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